In 1957, at the age of 15, Paul McCartney heard Buddy Holly's music for the first time. Despite Holly's untimely death in 1959, his lifelong influence on Paul McCartney is apparent throughout the entirety of McCartney's career. In this episode, we discuss Buddy Holly's impact on the Beatles, we analyze Holly's influence on McCartney's songwriting and musicianship, and we also explore Paul McCartney's various tributes to Holly. 


The Beatles. Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000.

Doyle, Tom. Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013. 

Goldrosen, John and John Beecher. Remembering Buddy: The Definitive Biography. London: Penguin Books, 1987. 

Guesdon, Jean-Michel and Philippe Margotin. All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release. New York: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 2013.

Harry, Bill. The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books, 2003.

Laing, Dave. Buddy Holly. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2010.

Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles All These Years: Volume One: Tune In, Extended Special Edition. London: Little, Brown, 2013. 

Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Abbey Road Studio Session Notes 1962-1970. New York: Harmony Books, 1988.

MacDonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records in the Sixties. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1994.

Miles, Barry. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997. 

Norman, Philip. Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2013. 

Perasi, Luca. Paul McCartney Recording Sessions (1969-2013). Milan: L.I.L.Y., 2013. 

The Real Buddy Holly Story (1987)

Sounes, Howard. Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2010.

Southall, Brian and Rupert Perry. Northern Songs: The True Story of the Beatles Song Publishing Empire. London: Omnibus Press, 2007.

Sulpy, Doug and Ray Schweighardt. Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of The Beatles Let It Be Disaster. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. 

Our photographs taken at the Surf Ballroom and Buddy Holly's crash site in Clear Lake, Iowa. Click on the image to advance to the next: 

Buddy Holly & The Crickets performing "Peggy Sue" on The Ed Sullivan Show (1957):

Paul McCartney discusses with the Rolling Stone's Ronnie Wood the 'tricks' the Beatles learned from Buddy Holly:

Between the years 1976-1999 Paul McCartney hosted "Buddy Holly Week" annually to coincide with the anniversary of Holly's birth. Here are some highlights from 1979's "Buddy Holly Week" featuring Maria Elena Holly, Phil Everly, Roy Orbison, various members of the Crickets, and Wings:

An excerpt from Paul McCartney's documentary The Real Buddy Holly Story (1986):